Our DUI Attorney Explains How A (Dry) Reckless Driving Can Mean Severe Penalties
If you get slapped with a reckless driving charge, any DUI attorney will tell you that you don’t just mail in your fine and call it a day. (Dry) Reckless driving is defined as “driving with a willful or a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,” and, as such, it’s a misdemeanor with punishments akin to those meted out for drunk driving. If you’ve been convicted, you can be penalized with fines, loss of license, even jail time and, if applicable, revocation of parole or deportation.
What’s frightening is that many reckless driving citations can result from very simple infractions, things the driver may not even have realized he or she was doing. These include:
- Failing to signal;
- Weaving in and out of traffic;
- Driving aggressively;
- Being in an accident;
- Driving without headlights;
- Distracted driving;
- Following too closely;
- Speeding (one of the most common); and
- Passing a stopped school bus.
How many of these things have you done unintentionally at some point in your driving career? Unfortunately, whether or not you intended to commit the violation doesn’t factor into a determination of reckless driving, since all of the above are considered dangerous, whether you meant them to be or not. The prosecution will seek not to prove that you meant harm but merely that you were aware that your driving choices were risky, and that you pursued them anyway. Having a DUI attorney on your side can help mitigate the “damage”, especially if there are extenuating circumstances, the court can then decide if your knowledge of the risk and your reasons for taking it outweigh the actual risk you took.
There are defenses that can be used to fight reckless driving charges, so you shouldn’t assume that pleading guilty is the only course of action. When you appear in court, you can plead Not Guilty by reasons of, for example, necessity (an emergency forced your actions) or lack of identity (it was not you driving the offending car). If you’d like to speak to a DUI Attorney about defenses for your reckless driving case, please fill out the form on this page to contact the Law Office of Scott T. Stotz.